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Looking to Become an Ambassador, Guardian of Florida’s Coastline? Florida Master Naturalist Course Ready to Take New Members

SAINT LUCIE, Fla. – If you live on the coast of Florida, you know its appeal.

Florida has the second longest coastline in the United States. It boasts 8,436 miles on the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Known for its stunning beaches and natural tropical sanctuaries, the Sunshine State’s coast attracts millions of tourists and new residents each year. The Florida coastline is also subject to sea-level rise, pollution, hurricanes, and a myriad of other environmental hazards.  It requires a large group of helping hands and knowledgeable minds to manage and restore it on a regular basis.

Sea Grant and Pinellas County Extension agent Libby Carnahan (right) showing a caught fish to Master Naturalist in training at a seine netting training session at Lover’s Key State Park near Ft. Myers, Florida.

In Florida, Master Naturalists are vital to the efforts of coastal management and restoration. Along with state agencies and university scientists, Florida Master Naturalists are the guardians and ambassadors of Florida’s coastline.

The University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Extensions in St. Lucie and Martin Counties are pleased to announce the next Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) Coastal Shoreline Restoration course taking place January 23- January 31, 2020.

The 24-hour course is designed as an educational program that provides training in the restoration of living shorelines. Specific areas covered include oyster reefs, mangroves, and marshes, with a focus on ecology, benefits, methods, and monitoring techniques,” he added. “Registrants who complete this course are prepared to promote and assist with restoration projects.”

Upon completion of the course, participants receive Coastal Shoreline Restoration certification, complete with a certificate, patch and pin from UF.  The registration fees include course materials, a hands-on experience, and registration in an online database providing information on how to obtain continuing education credits, in-service credits, or resume checks. Field trips include site visits inside and outside St Lucie County.

The mission of the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) is to promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Florida’s natural world among Florida’s citizens and visitors.

The Florida Master Naturalist Program is an adult education program developed by UF/IFAS Extension and pro­vided by many Extension offices and participating organizations throughout the state of Florida. FMNP training benefits persons interested in learning more about Florida’s environment or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in education programs as volun­teers, employees, ecotourism guides, and others.

What:             Florida Master Naturalist Course

When:            January 23, 2020 – January 31, 2020

 Where:           First session conducted at UF/IFAS Extension St Lucie County, 8400 Picos Road, Fort Pierce. Off-site field trip locations are in Martin and Brevard Counties.

Registration: Registration is now open at http://www.masternaturalist.ifas.ufl.edu

$195 Attendee Fee with Color Manual

$175 Attendee Fee with USB Drive

$150 Partner Attendee Fee

Instructors:    Ken Gioeli, Vincent Encomio, PhD, Holly Abeels

Call the UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County at (772) 462-1627 or UF/IFAS Extension Martin County at (772) 288-5654 or visit  https://conference.ifas.ufl.edu/fmnp/CR20-01.html.

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By: Lourdes Rodriguez, 954-577-6363 office, 954-242-8439 mobile, rodriguezl@ufl.edu 

The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human, and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS brings science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries and all Florida residents.

ifas.ufl.edu  @UF_IFAS

 

2 Comments on “Looking to Become an Ambassador, Guardian of Florida’s Coastline? Florida Master Naturalist Course Ready to Take New Members

  1. Are there Master Naturalist classes, and volunteer opportunities, available in Leon County?

    • So sorry for the delay. Let me get working on that request for you.

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